Lulu: Publishing Books And More
This is the fourth review in our series on book publishing applications. To read a primer on the topic with the common features of these applications, please see: Online Publishing With Web 2.0.
Well known in the self publishing market, Lulu has made a name for itself by offering small print runs and an easy-to-use interface. Simple, clean, and efficient, first time authors will find that Lulu offers more than a chance to publish a novel – it can print photo books, manuals, and calendars.
Whether you are creating on the fly or have preassembled a project, Lulu can accommodate your needs. Lulu works with Adobe pdf’s as their standard, yet can accommodate doc, rtf, wps, ps, jpg, gif, and png files, turning your files into a pdf with their wizard.
For users that choose to sell through Lulu there is the benefit that only print on demand provides; buyers that buy your project purchase from Lulu rather than you, which means that Lulu users don’t incur the cost of stock – it’s generated at the time of purchase. To add to that benefit is the ability to revise your project at any time, something impossible with traditional printing.
To promote your books and published products Lulu offers a marketplace – with each author having their own page listed by category and searchable. The users’ page, called a storefront, can be optimized and customized with css and html. An extra incentive to buyers is the option to purchase a downloadable version of the project at a reduced cost.
One issue with Lulu is that getting an ISBN makes Lulu the publisher of record, so that Lulu retains the payments, sending out royalties rather full payments. Authors can opt out of this by publishing directly (no ISBN), but for users that want to take advantage of distribution relationships the cut that Lulu takes may seem invasive. That said, the list of products available for publishing at Lulu is impressive, and with competitive pricing: books, manuals, posters, calendars, music cd’s, movies, comic books, and more.
To find this or other publishing applications there is the Listio search: books+publish.
Previously in this series: Blurb: Making Layouts And Book Publishing Easy
Next in this series: Comparing Book Publishing Applications: Lulu, WeBook, Blurb, and Qoop
Listio Profile: http://www.listio.com/web20/app/Lulu/
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